Development GIMP Version 2.7 Review Comments

Source Size: 273.3 Megabytes
Compiled Size: 84.9 Megabytes
Date Compiled: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Version: 2.7.1

"Single Window" mode in the current development version of GIMP is so named because it allows you to attach GIMP's docks to the main window. It does not force you to have one singular window, as you can have docks attached and detached in single-window mode; simply drag the docks off and drop the docks away from the main window and they become normal Utility windows like in GIMP 2.6.

Here is GIMP's "Single Window" mode (with our own dock placements)...

There's a bug in 2.7's "Single Window" mode. If you attach the "Patterns" dock to the left of the main window, you are able to size the "Patterns" dock larger, but you are unable to size the "Patterns" dock smaller. This bug is shown in the video above.

Lately, people have been speaking highly of Adobe Photoshop over this video showing what Bryan O'Neil Hughes calls "Content-Aware Fill" which is a technique for synthesizing texture.

Some reading this might be thinking "So, GIMP's finally got a single-window mode. That's nothing compared to what Photoshop now has. How can GIMP possibly compete?"

Well it's a little old favorite GIMP plugin called Resynthesizer. Resynthesizer works just as well as Photoshop's "Content-Aware Fill", only Resynthesizer appears to have more options. I wouldn't be surprised if Photoshop's "Content-Aware Fill" is just an adapted Resynthesizer, maybe with improvements. Currently there's no way to tell.

In the video below -- working with the same images (captured from YouTube) -- I demonstrate Resynthesizer in GIMP 2.7's "Single Window" mode.

To get the plugin in Debian: Open gnome-terminal, type 'su', hit enter, type your password, hit enter, then type the following (without quotes) and hit enter:

"apt-get update && apt-get install gimp gimp-resynthesizer"

In the current development version of GIMP 2.8 "Dynamic Brushes" work a little differently. When simply moving your pointer, the brush outline will change in real-time, so -- depending on which dynamics you have enabled -- the brush outline will decrease in size when moving your pointer faster (Basic Dynamics). Although when moving the brush its outline flickers by almost every other pixel.

You select which "Paint Dynamics" you want to use from the "Paint Dynamics" tab. Simply click on one of the small arrows on other docks, go to "Add Tab", and click "Paint Dynamics". You may also create custom "Dynamics" by clicking on the "New" button, which is a piece of paper.

In the current development version of GIMP 2.8 you can now use the Text tool to type right on to the image, instead of in a small pop-up text box as in GIMP 2.6. You can now also use multiple fonts, line spacings, and character spacings at once.

Brush "Aspect Ratio" and brush "Angle" are now placed in the "Tools" dock right below brush "Scale" making it easier to adjusts these settings.

"Single Window" mode also handles multiple open images differently, in that 2.8 uses tabs...

The only thing we don't like about the tabs the way they are is that it's unclear that in order to close an image you have to click on the Window Manager's close button, there should be an 'X' on the top right corner of each tab, click the 'X' to close the image, just as how tabs are handled in GTK+.

GIMP 2.7 seems to always start in multi-window mode, even if the user closes GIMP in single-window mode. Although this may have just been a misconfiguration with our GIMP, proper configuration won't be completely implemented until GIMP 2.8's release.

There is another thing. If you maximize the window and then switch tabs it unmaximizes, bringing the window back to the size it was before maximizing.

With minor GEGL improvements, the current development version of GIMP 2.7 doesn't appear to have that many new features. We'll review GIMP again in a while. Until next time...

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